The Mark Reynolds market surely wasn’t a hotly contested one, as the powerful corner infielder hasn’t been much of an asset for a few years now. Reynolds and the Cleveland Indians have agreed to a one-year deal worth $6 million. I hate to be a peddler of spoilers, but he’s going to strike out and homer a lot. Reynolds turned 29 in August and is coming off two seasons which, when combined, were not worth a full win above replacement according to FanGraphs.
It appears the Indians intend to make Reynolds their everyday first baseman, and they’ll almost certainly regret it. Reynolds has a reputation as a deadly power hitter, and he sort of is, but let’s put things in perspective. Reynolds has hit .213/.326/.450 over the last three seasons in 1,754 PA. That’s not an actual threat, particularly when considering he’ll be depended upon to handle a position that most teams will get more production from. Reynolds can leave the yard, but he’s not likely to contribute much of anything when he isn’t dumping baseballs into the stands.
Reynolds just has too many holes in his game to make good on the deal the Indians have given him, and perhaps more importantly he doesn’t make a whole lot of since for the team that signed him. Over the past week or so we have learned that the Indians offered Shane Victorino a four-year deal and have been in on Kevin Youkilis. Why? Adding a solid if unspectacular veteran for too much money will do little in the way of helping the Indians contend in 2013. This was one of the worst teams in the American League in 2012, and they aren’t going to be able to sniff the Tigers in 2013. For some reason the Indians seem to be confused about their identity, caught between wanting to let young guys develop and wanting to buy expensive veterans. The smart move is to build the next good Indians team patiently. Mark Reynolds doesn’t really make the team better in the short or long term, and this signing comes across as forced.